Today's new sanctions on Venezuela by the Trump administration are a good excuse to write a long overdue update on Venezuelan politics.
Not that I have been despondent. But what for? All is said and done. The opposition went the extra mile only to prove that the Venezuelan regime will have to be dislodged by force. Even if most keep pretending otherwise, under the excuse of "serious" dialogue/negotiation between parties. And how, pretty please, do they intend to force the regime to do anything seriously?
From chavismo, now that it has imposed a totally fraudulent and undemocratic constituent assembly, the time of dictatorship has come. Today, for example, two more radio stations were closed. The constituent assembly has not started its alleged work on a new constitution. Instead it has started to purge the country if its anti chavista leaders, be it Luisa Ortega, general attorney, now in exile, or be they opposition mayors who are curtly dismissed by the high court TSJ who in addition condemns them to a year and a half jail without a proper trial. Some of these mayors have wisely chosen exile and are received everywhere with favor.
But that does not bother the regime that has decided to strip the national assembly of its attributions, dissolving it in fact even if they claim it can still hold its meetings. Not that it matters much: after today's new sanctions Maduro has accused the National Assembly leaders of having organized the sanctions with Trump and demanded a speedy trial for high treason. We can expect a significant cut in attendance.
And there is of course the "truth commission" set up by the constituent fraud, a commission that went fast from truth commission to inquisition tribunal and that is about to become next week a Stalinist show court circa 1937.
The opposition has little to show. In my opinion if the protests have stopped it is because the opposition alliance MUD has revealed itself unable to think of a plan B, since so many of its members did not want plan A to begin with. The point here is not whether the opposition should accept to run in irregular governor elections in October, the point is that the opposition is unable to show coherence of purpose, and even less of message. Hence why people are not responding to it since its failure to stop the constitutional vote fraud.
Not that the opposition could have stopped it if truth be told. The resolve of a narco criminal organization that controls the government of Venezuela is not to be underestimated. Because for all of its fault the dictatorship of Maduro has resolve, a resolve that its has shown by breaking any and each rules in Venezuela with now a resolve in staring down the rest of the world. Which admittedly is not working as well as taming the opposition at home worked.
As August slowly passes the question is now all about resolve.
The resolve of the dictatorship and its mentors in Cuba is out of question. After all, were they to fall jail is their fate. Terrorism, human rights violations galore and drug traffic are offenses that cannot go unpunished in the XXI century
The resolve of the international community is surprisingly strong considering its unwillingness in thinking of a crisis already announced when Chavez was still alive (well, this blog did predict it anyway). And the good news is that this resolve, for its ups and downs, will remain. Why? No civilized country can accept today that a narco state would "legally" establish itself and thus freely emanate its putrefaction.
And thus we need two resolves to counter one. That third resolve must be found inside the Venezuelan opposition. And I am not sure it is there. Certainly some do have it and are even willing to die of their resolve. But others? Let's check out some reactions today on the first sanctions that will truly start to harm the regime. What we read is that these sanctions are too strong, that "el pueblo" will be hurt. Will it? Is el pueblo not suffering already? What is it to be gained by postponing a greater suffering that will come one way or another? Sometimes I do start believing the conspiration theories of corrupt chavista associated business that finance both chavismo and opposition in order to make sure that their businesses are not harmed by the struggle or its outcome. In fact, this is not a conspiration theory as too many people from different walks of life vouch for it.
But the lack of resolve is also in the people. I see too many bitching at the MUD failures and yet they keep partying, they keep planning holidays, that is, if they have the means. The fight, it seems, if good as long as other bear the burden. Might as well stop the protests, kids are sent to die for nothing as too many prefer a $$$ negotiated outcome even if the rest of the country keeps eating shit for the decades to come.
It is time for resolve and each and all of us must look inside. If you are poor you must realize that under Maduro you will always be poor. If you are middle class you need to realize that your options are exile of poverty, or both. If you are rich, that your wealth under fascism depends on your compromission or the sudden will of someone in power. If you are a politician, that your political future only will be bright if you show purpose and will, not settling for concessions and crumbs.